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On Demand from the Folger Shakespeare Library: The Poets of Alice James Books
O.B. Hardison Poetry Series
Writing the Past to Right the
The Poets of Alice James Books
with Shara McCallum and Tamiko Beyer
in a live Zoom reading
Monday, March 7, at 7:30pm (ET)
“The force of this collection lies in its ability to
graciously share painful truths—burdens inherited by the
descendants of enslaved Africans, and the strong tide of societal
erasure, the fierce momentum sustained through generations to bury
the facts, though they continuously demand to be reckoned with.” — Rooja Mohassey in a review of No Ruined Stone in the
On Monday, March
7, 2022, at 7:30pm ET, the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series celebrates
Women's History Month by highlighting two poets from Alice
James Books: Shara McCallum and Tamiko Beyer.
Both poets released collections in 2021. McCallum’s No
Ruined Stone explored an
alternate history about Scottish poet Robert Burns, taking him to
Jamaica and exposing him to the horrors of slavery. Beyer’s Last
Daysuses poetic forms
like the tanku and the haibun to engage her ancestors and
contemplate contemporary changes in the environment. They both use
poetry to interrogate the past, the present, and question the
This reading is
co-sponsored with Alice James Books, which was founded as a
feminist press and is committed to collaborating with literary
artists of excellence who might otherwise go unheard. Alice James
Books produces, promotes, and distributes their work which often
engages the public on important social issues.
Together with Alice
James Books, the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series will create a virtual
reading that explores the work of these poets and engages the
community about the power of history and the power to change.
This reading will
be followed by a moderated conversation where audience members can
also ask their own questions.
When the dead
they will come to you in dream
and in waking, will be the bird
knocking, knocking against glass, seeking
a way in, will masquerade
as the wind, its voice made audible
by the tongues of leaves, greedily
lapping, as the waves’ self-made fugue
is a turning and returning, the dead
will not then nor ever again
desert you, their unrest
will be the coat cloaking you,
the farther you journey
from them the more
distance will maw in you,
time and place gulching
when the dead return and demand
everything you have to give and nothing
will quench or unhunger them
as they take all you make as offering.
Then tell you to begin again.
deeply grateful to have you as a part of the Folger community.
If you are able, we hope you will consider making a gift today
to help sustain the O.B. Hardison Poetry Series and
programs like it.